Rehosting the Blog

I have been slowly transitioning from Blogger hosting the Santa Barbara Improv blog to this WordPress blog which is directly hosted at the site. The techno-details are of interest to very few of you, but the important impact is that I plan on retiring the Blogger site and only updating this one. If you haven’t already linked here, I’d like you to make the change soon. I’ll be duplicating posts to both sites for awhile, but the quicker I can stop updating the old one, the better.

I’m sorry if this causes anyone grief, but this new site gives me a lot more flexibility and will be better for everyone.

Class January 24, 2007

Once again we had a pretty big class (okay, when does a class with 20 people stop being big and become normal?) but this time, no one was brand new. That let us get into scene work pretty quickly, and everyone dove in enthusiastically.

dcp_2440.JPGAfter warm-ups we started in with a Stinky, Sexy, Silly scene, and here Terri, Toni, Dustin, and Nate were conducting the scene in a dentist’s office. Guess how Nate felt about Dustin.

dcp_2442.JPGScott, Sharon, Andy, and Tristan in another Stinky, Sexy, Silly scene, this time they were camping. This was a wonderful scene with everyone endowing each other beautifully.

dcp_2448.JPGMike, Scott, Justine, and Li-At in their scene which had some great physical moments. At one point Li-At and Mike were fighting for Scott’s attention by pulling his wheelchair in different ways.

dcp_2449.JPGHere, Kenna, Nate, Alan, and Neil are in their version of the exercise, and again I think you can tell Neil’s attitude towards me and probably Kenna’s attitude towards Nate. As I recall, we were in a resort.

dcp_2456.JPGThis is a 5-Letter scene with Scott, Melissa, and Sol. They were working with the word CLONE and the setting was a painting class where Sol was the nude model. I don’t know that you need much more than that – the scene lived up to what you’re imagining.

Unfortunately, it was about this time when the camera’s battery died. So, no more images from all the other 5-Letter scenes, the Invent a Holiday scenes (and Insult Day was just about the most perfect scene I’ve scene in a long time), the songs, or the 3-Line Drills. Unfortunately I can’t bring myself to type the words of the best opening line of the night, but let’s just say that we all have a new picture of Melissa in our minds.

Improv Classes, Jan. 10 and 17, 2007

I wasn’t in town to teach on the 10th of January, and Victoria was originally scheduled to take over. Unfortunately she got sick, so Jim took over as a last minute substitute, and from all accounts he did a fabulous job. Thanks to Jim for taking over and to Victoria for arranging the replacement while I was out of town. I never had to worry about it. It was a large class with several new players, all of whom I hope to meet in the next few classes.

The following week, January 17, I was back to teach the class, but I was informed that no more pictures would be taken until I finally caught up on my blog postings. I appreciate a good class revolt (and an occasional kick in the pants), and so I’ll accept my admonishment and briefly report that the class was a lot of fun, with 4 new players (or at least new to me), all of whom were enthusiastic and didn’t hesitate to hop up on stage. We got in a few rounds of Tag Out Story, The [blank] Family, Human Props, a few Irish Drinking Songs, and Entrances and Exits. There was a lot of energy and some wonderful scenes.

Class January 3, 2007

The first workshop of 2007 was a big one with 18 people attending. There were a few who were brand new to improv and the rest were returning players. And, luckily, there were a few folks willing to snap photos along the way.

dcp_2390.JPGWe led off with a set of conducted stories, and by popular demand they were all in the competitive Story-Story-Die format (I was willing to go easy with a more forgiving structure, but the players were anxious for the challenge). I think Marika is the focus of my “director’s point”, but Neil Scott, Sol, and Ben were ready to pick up the story when directed.

dcp_2393.JPGWe had a couple of new folks in this Story-Story-Die. Bob and Kenna were the two just learning the game, with Justin and Andy filling out the field at this point. I don’t know who was “dead” in the background. Clearly, Andy knows my directing so well that he can do the piece with his eyes closed. One of the reasons that I like this shot is because Andy is usually taking the photos, so I don’t get enough shots with him included.

dcp_2397.JPGThis is a Counting-Words scene with Jim, Allegra, and Scott. The crowd went pretty easy on this group with Allegra having the most words at 4. I like this photo because everyone is at a different height. It was an interesting scene to watch.

dcp_2403.JPGAnother counting words scene with Ian, Ben, and Mike. I like that Mike appears ready to burst out laughing.

dcp_2405.JPGOnce again, I’m drawn to this picture because all the players are at different levels. This is yet another Counting Words scene with Eric (5 words), Scott (3 words), and Bob (1 word).

dcp_2406.JPGI’m using all these pictures from Counting-Words scenes because they came out so well. I’ve got lot’s of pictures from other scenes, but these had the least amount of blur along with being interesting shots. Here, Robyn (3 words), Ana (2 words), and Kenna (4 words) are working on a scene which turned out to be quite physically expressive despite how new they are to improv.

dcp_2407.JPGHere, Bob, Tony, and I are in yet another Counting Words scene. I like this because it looks like I’m criticizing a new player, which makes me look tough.

dcp_2424.JPGHmm, maybe Terri took the idea of criticizing the new players (here, Bob) a little too far (actually, I can’t find any notes that would explain what this picture was about – maybe there are things I’m not aware of happening in the class).

dcp_2427.JPGOkay, I know a fight didn’t actually break out between these two guys, but doesn’t it just look natural. Okay, maybe not. Eric and Justin are a couple of sweet guys and that’s what makes this an even funnier shot.

And that was a sampling of the first workshop from 2007.

Improv Classes, Dec. 20 and 27, 2006

While doing some catch-up work on the blog, I realize that there are a couple of classes for which I don’t have pictures and never made a blog entry.

We had our regularly scheduled classes around the holidays. The December 20th workshop had 15 people and we were able to do a Museum game, Puppets, an expert panel, our usual song, and some open form work.

On December 27, we had a smaller class with 8 people, so we took the opportunity to do a few two-person games that we haven’t seen for awhile: Assigned Quirks; He Said, She Said; and Playbook (a.k.a. Actor’s Nightmare). A Song and some open form work filled out the night.

And that concluded Santa Barbara Improv Workshop’s 2006. It was a good year, and although I’ve gotten to a slow start, 2007 is starting out even better.